Knowledge Identifier: &European_Economic_Area
Founded in 2004.
Countries: Norway (26%), Europe (15%), Iceland (11%)
Linked to: European Free Trade Association, Council of the European Union, European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority, Court of Justice of the European Union
Albania applied for membership in April 2009, but the European Commission has yet to respond
As EEA membership is currently only open to EFTA or EU members, the consent of existing EFTA member states is required for the microstates to join the EEA without becoming members of the EU. In 2011, Jonas Gahr Støre, the Foreign Minister of Norway which is an EFTA member state, said that EFTA/EEA membership for the microstates was not the appropriate mechanism for their integration into the internal market due to their different requirements than large countries such as Norway, and suggested that a simplified association would be better suited for them
Membership has grown to 31 states as of 2016: 28 EU member states, as well as three of the four member states of the EFTA